Urinary incontinence is defined as: “uncontrolled leakage of urine at any time”. Symptoms range from dribbling to complete loss of bladder control. It may be resulting from an acute or chronic conditions such as: infection, constipation, stress, restricted mobility, dementia, medications, disease process etc. While “getting old” is not a risk factor for urinary incontinence, it may predispose an elderly person to becoming incontinent if the person has decreased mobility, altered mental status or a chronic illness. The major complication with urinary incontinence is: Skin problems such as rash, opened sores which can become infected if left untreated.
Here are a few tips on how to manage urinary incontinence at home
- Monitor voiding pattern and start a toileting schedule
- Ensure that the bathroom is safe and easily accessible
- -Avoid excssive use of alcohol & caffeine (they can act like diuretic)
- -Wear clothing that can be easily removed
- -use a bedside commode or urinal at night for frequent urination
- -Monitor skin daily for redness
- -Apply skin barrier to prevent skin breakdown
- -Wear a pad or brief if necessary
- -Be active and exercise daily
Family and caregivers are encouraged to get assistance and support needed to manage the care of a loved one with urinary incontinence.